We have invited the directors of COMPASS Pathways, Heffter Research Institute, and the Usona Institute to speak for themselves and share with the MAPS Bulletin readership the progress of their drug development programs and plans for the future. Articles from COMPASS and Heffter are included in this issue. Usona has elected to share their article in an upcoming publication.
Since its inception, MAPS has espoused the principles of open science by openly sharing information with researchers, therapists, doctors, practitioners, companies, organizations, enthusiasts, and explorers seeking to increase their scope of understanding of psychedelics. The nature of MAPS’ relationship with COMPASS Pathways is the same as with any other research organization in the psychedelic space: to share scientific information openly and freely in order to advance our nonprofit mission (maps.org/mission).
MAPS has chosen for reasons of ethics and responsibility to develop psychedelics into prescription medicines through a public benefit corporation, wholly owned by the non-profit MAPS. In this way, social benefit is built into the charter and structure of the organization, and any potential profit will be channeled back into funding future psychedelic research, rather than to individual investors. However, this is not the only way forward.
Until recently, the psychedelic research field has been occupied almost solely by non-profit organizations and academic institutions. As we move into a new era of psychedelic research and medicine there is, and will continue to be, increasing interest from for-profit companies to participate in expanding psychedelic research and medicine. MAPS’ responsibility as a leader in this field is to create a standard of care and to model governance in a way that remains responsible, ethical, and accessible.